Recipe

Fortune Cookies Recipe

Fun fact: did you know that Chinese fortune cookies weren’t created in China? Here’s a great fortune cookies recipe to make some at home!

This fortune cookies recipe is solid. The Chinese fortune cookies that we know today isn’t actually even Chinese.

The Chinese fortune cookie actually originated in California, but there is an original fortune cookie which originated in China.

When were fortune cookies invented?

The original fortune cookie is the moon cake. The moon cake was used in the 13th and 14th centuries, during the Ming dynasty, to hide secret messages regarding the date of a popular uprising against the Mongol invaders.

Moon cakes were distributed by the patriotic revolutionary Chu Yuan Chang (disguised as a Taoist priest) who was safe in the knowledge that the Mongols had no taste for lotus nut paste which was used to make the moon cakes. The uprising was successful and so the basis of the Ming Dynasty was formed.

What are Chinese fortune cookies?

A Chinese fortune cookie is a delicate and lightweight wafer type cookie folded meticulously to enclose a slip of paper with a fortune written on it, just as they did during the Ming dynasty. It is these fortunes that make these fortune cookies so wonderful. Some fortunes are humorous, some inspirational, some religious and some are just . . . Weird.

Get those ingredients ready because you will never eat another stale take-out fortune cookie again! This fortune cookies recipe is super easy… Just remember to follow this recipe and use quality ingredient, and you’ll have a great cookie.

Ingredients for Chinese fortune cookies recipe

  • Egg whites – these are what make fortune cookies so light and crisp.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – pure if you have it, but vanillin works as well.
  • Almond Extract – a necessary addition to these cookies to add to the delicious signature flavor
  • Vegetable Oil – you can also use any other neutral-tasting oil such as canola, sunflower, peanut, safflower, or soybean.
  • Sugar – granulated white sugar or natural cane sugar works best for these fortune cookies.
  • Salt – fine-grain sea salt or table salt works!
  • Cornstarch – this is what also adds to the crispness of these cookies. A necessary addition.
  • All-purpose flour – unbleached or bleached all-purpose flour works for this fortune cookies recipe.
  • Special equipment: muffin tins – you will need a couple of these to place your fortune cookies in once they are folded. This will ensure that they keep their shape.

How to make Fortune Cookies

Making fortune cookies can be quite laborious and you’ve to be quick with folding. If you know someone with asbestos fingers, they’re probably best to bring on to get the job of folding done as you’ll need to fold these cookies when they are fresh out of the oven.

Make the fortunes

In order to make Chinese fortune cookies, you will need to write your fortunes first. Whether you choose to type them or write them, you will need 3.5-inch-by-1/2-inch pieces of paper for each fortune. I find this size to fit best in the cookies.

Be creative with your fortunes and make sure to have fun!

Make the fortune cookies

In order to make the fortune cookies you’ll need to preheat your oven to 300ºF and grease two large cookie sheets with either butter, oil, or non-stick cooking spray.

After that, it’s quite easy. Lightly beat together the egg whites, vanilla extract, almond extract, and vegetable oil until the mixture is frothy, but not stiff.

In another bowl, you’ll need to sift together the cornstarch and flour until no lumps are visible and then whisk in some water until pasty.

The flour mixture is then stirred into the egg mixture until everything is smooth. At this point, the batter should not be runny but should drop off easily off of a wooden spoon.

Equal amounts of batter are spooned and spaced out evenly onto the prepared pans. After that, the pans are tilted around gently in order to form the batter into perfect circles around 4-inches in diameter.

The fortune cookies are baked until the outer half-inch of each cookie turns a beautiful golden and they are easy to remove from the baking sheet with a spatula, which takes about 15 minutes.

Once the cookies are baked, this is where things get intense…

It’s time to fold the fortune cookies!

Working quickly, you will have to remove the cookie with a spatula and flip it over into your hand. The fortune cookies are very hot, so you’ll have to do this with care.

Put each fortune in the middle of the cookie.

Now, here’s where everything comes together: to form the fortune cookie shape, fold the cookie in half, then gently take the creased end and push it down toward the closed ends using your fingers. The edge of a glass works well here, too. This is how you get the traditional fortune cookie shape you see everywhere.

If you don’t want to go through the pain of making a traditional shape, simply fold each fortune cookie in half, and half again.

Put the finished cookie in the cup of the muffin tin so that it keeps its shape. You will need to continue with the rest of the cookies and let them cool completely in the muffin tins before serving.

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Yield: Makes about 2 dozen fortune cookies

Chinese Fortune Cookies

I would suggest not baking more than 5 fortune cookies at a time (so, one pan). The batter sits well on the pan for a bit and it does keep well for a day or two. You'll just need to bring the batter to room temperature and possibly stir in a teaspoon or two of water if the batter isn't smooth enough to work with.

Another alternative to the traditional folding method for these delectable fortune cookies is to simply fold each of the cookies in half, and half again. This method saves your fingers from handling the hot cookies for too long while folding the fortunes into them.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Special Equipment

  • Fortunes (more about this in the recipe notes)
  • 2 muffin tins
  • 2 cookie sheets / baking sheets

Chinese Fortune Cookies

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 3 teaspoons water, at room temperature

Instructions

Prepare the fortunes and set-aside.

Preheat oven to 300ºF. Grease two 9-by-13 inch baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg whites, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract until frothy, but not stiff.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. You want to make sure there are no clumps of flour. Stir the water into this mixture until smooth.

Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir until the batter is smooth. The batter should not be runny, but should drop easily off of a spoon.

Using a tablespoon measure, place even amounts of batter onto the greased cookie sheets. Space each of the cookies about 3 inches from eachother.

Gently tilt the baking sheet back and forth and from side to side so that each tablespoon of batter forms into a circle 4 inches in diameter.

Bake until the outer ½ inch of each cookie turns golden brown and they are easy to remove from the baking sheet with a spatula. About 13 – 15 minutes.

Working quickly, remove the cookie with a spatula and flip it over in your hand (they’re very hot, so be careful!).

Place a fortune in the middle of the cookie.

To form the fortune cookie shape, fold the cookie in half, then gently take the creased end and push it down toward the closed ends using your fingers or the edge of a glass. This will achieve the traditional fortune cookie shape.

Place the finished cookie in the cup of the muffin tin so that it keeps its shape.

Continue with the rest of the cookies.

Allow the fortune cookies to cool completely in the muffin cups before serving.

Notes

The Fortunes

In order to prepare the fortunes, you can either type or hand-write them. You will need pieces of paper that are 3 ½ inches long-by-½ inch wide.

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